Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Import Report: Lesser names take early lead
by Ridge Mahoney, April 22nd, 2008 6:45AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

To varying degrees of fanfare, more than two dozen foreign products -- including two Designated Players -- arrived in time for the start of the MLS season. Some have been in the lineup since the first weekend, a few others debuted last weekend or a week prior. Perhaps not until, say mid-June, will all of them have played at least a handful of games. Funnily enough, that's when the USA/MLS secondary window opens, which could trigger at least one or two "major signings" and a few lesser ones. But with four weekends in the books, there's enough data to highlight those imports who have adjusted most quickly to the demands of MLS and the roles given to them by their head coaches. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney ranks the MLS's foreign newcomers. ...

The big-money boys, Claudio Lopez (Kansas City) and Marcelo Gallardo (D.C. United) haven't yet proved to be worth a DP slot, yet neither have they disgraced. Laurent Robert has clearly livened up Toronto's left flank, Fire forward Tomasz Frankowski looks like he'll be able to score consistently, and Crew left back Gino Padula held his own last weekend against D.C. United at RFK.

Houston signee Franco Caraccio is one of the many Argentines who've come to MLS in the past two years. He's trying to fill the shoes of Nate Jaqua and Joseph Ngwenya, who combined for 13 goals last season, then departed for Austria.

"It takes a while," says Coach Dominic Kinnear, whose teams have won the last two titles primarily with North American players. "No offense, but Claudio Lopez ain't exactly lighting it up. Franco is 21 years old, so he's still a young guy. But he's a good finisher and we're just trying to get him around the goal more He doing OK, he's still trying to figure it out."

This ranking of the top performers is reserved for players coming to America from abroad for the first time this season, and thus excludes New England's exciting young Gambians, Sainey Nyassi and Kenny Mansally, who signed last summer, as well as the Crew's Scottish-born midfielder Adam Moffat, who played for the USL D-2 Cleveland Stars last summer (and kudos to Sigi Schmid for landing him.)

 

THE TOP 6

1. Laurent Robert (Toronto FC) Drilled home the free kick to notch a 1-0 defeat of Real Salt Lake in TFC's home opener Saturday, a week after giving the Galaxy fits in a rousing 3-2 victory.

2. Tomasz Frankowski (Chicago) He labored against Kansas City last weekend after scoring two goals in the first three games, yet looks like he'll be tough to track and stop in the goalmouth.

3. Franco Caraccio (Houston) He leads the team in scoring after setting up a Brad Davis goal with a knockdown header for his first assist, and potting a rebound for his second goal in a 2-2 tie with the Galaxy.

4. Ian Joy (Real Salt Lake) Solid games at left back have helped strengthen the RSL back line, yet we'll know more about him in another month or so. There are a lot of good right-sided attackers in MLS this year.

5. Gonzalo Martinez (D.C. United) He's good on the ball and can certainly win tackles. United's defensive woes, though, are of great concern. Timing, communication, and cohesion must improve.

6. Mauricio Castro (New England) Effective both as a wide midfielder and playing in the middle, he drops down the list for kicking Kevin Goldthwaite and being sent off in the 1-1 tie with New York last weekend.

Doing all right: Gallardo (D.C. United); Lopez, Ivan Trujillo (Kansas City): Padula (Columbus): Tony Caig (Houston); Rohan Ricketts (Toronto), Kenny Deuchar (Real Salt Lake), Tom McManus, Rafael Gomes (Colorado), Andre Rocha (FC Dallas).

Must do better: Alvaro Pires (Los Angeles); Gonzalo Peralta, Franco Niell, Jose Carvallo (D.C. United); Raphael Wicky (Chivas USA), Duilio Davino (FC Dallas), Argenis Fernandez (New England).

Yet to appear: Matias Cordoba, Jamison Olave (Real Salt Lake).

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
Veterans in demand as Re-Entry Draft concludes    
Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft offered up fair doses of everything, as did ...
MLS Trade Central: Thursday's deals    
Sporting Kansas City has signed 25-year-old Hungarian international forward Krisztian Nemeth from Dutch cub Roda JC  ...
What They're Saying: Michael Garcia    
"It is the lack of leadership on these issues within FIFA that leads me to conclude ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives